• Melo Acuna

DEPED prepared for influx of grade and middle school students

Department of Education ready for possible influx of elementary and high school students from private schools

MANILA – Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said the public school system is prepared to accommodate elementary pupils and high school students who will transfer from private institutions.

Speaking at the midday press briefing hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Secretary Briones said there have been parents who reserved slots with public schools as early as February this year.

“Usually, parents choose which public school would be best for their children. In Manila, the schools are oversubscribed, it’s over a hundred percent because of the benefits and perks the city government extends. However, there are other schools outside the City of Manila where they could enroll their children,” Secretary Briones said.

However, she added the City of Manila would prefer Manila residents as schools in Quezon City would prefer Quezon City residents.

“Secretary (Harry) Roque is right. It is in the Constitution and we should not refuse any child who wishes to study. Perhaps, we can allow late enrollees,” Secretary Briones added.

Asked if there are facilities for handwashing activities as Health authorities prescribe, Secretary Briones said prior to COVID-19, there are existing conveniences for school children for handwashing. However, there are instances when water supply is no longer within the capacity of the school.

“We appeal to other agencies to install clean water supply to public schools. We also look into the availability of (over-the-counter) medicines before we allow the limited face-to-face instructions by January 2021,” she explained.

With the coming typhoon season, Secretary Briones said they are looking into the school buildings to check whether they could still stand inclement weather, earthquakes and other natural calamities. She added there are specific guidelines they follow to observe social distancing and assure everyone of personal safety and hygiene. (Melo M. Acuña)

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones explaining her Department's plans and programs to address the influx of pupils and students from private schools. (Screengrab from PTV 4)

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